Don’t Make a Hasty Decision that You’ll Regret
You need time to take in the information, think about it and discuss it with your family. You don’t need to make a decision immediately.
You need to consider all possible options before deciding which treatment is the right one for you.
Deciding on a doctor
Choosing a doctor you feel comfortable with and can talk to is important.
Some people prefer specialists who deal with them as equals, discussing all options with them and assisting them to make the final decision, while others like their doctors to take the lead and make decisions for them.
You need to feel that the specialist is acting in your best interest, and can give you the help and answers you need. There is also good evidence that seeing a doctor with a special interest and extensive experience in prostate cancer will result in improved outcomes.
Talking to someone who has had a similar experience with prostate cancer can help you form a personal idea of what lies ahead and find useful resources.
We can put you in touch with men who have experienced the different treatments that you may be considering.
We have an extensive library of books about prostate cancer which can be borrowed at our meetings.
Get a second opinion
Getting an opinion from another doctor about your cancer and treatment can help you feel that you are doing the right thing. Speaking to both a urologist and a radiation oncologist can be helpful.
Seeking a second opinion is the right of every cancer patient. If you feel awkward about it, remember that most doctors are used to it. Ask either your specialist or your GP to refer you to another specialist.
Studies have shown that specialists are more likely to recommend treatments that they understand and practise. It is possible that you will get different recommendations from different specialists. This is because we do not know as yet which treatment options are best.
The material above is from the 4th edition of “Localised prostate cancer: a guide for men and their families” prepared by the Australian Prostate Cancer Collaboration. Copyright Cancer Australia.
Some Things to Read
This article “How to cope with a prostate cancer diagnosis” by Ralph Blum is also useful.
The first few weeks after being diagnosed with prostate cancer are very stressful. This guide may help you through this period.
Start keeping a personal medical record. This article tells you what to do.